MAE Master of Science Program

 UPDATED M.S. CURRICULUM

 

The M.S. Program in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at UC San Diego is a flexible program with grounding in MAE fundamentals and a focus on the next generation of mechanical engineering.

 

Mechanical Engineering is one of the most diverse fields in engineering. Today, successful M.S.-level engineers must:

  • Have command of fundamental MAE core subjects, and
  • Have working knowledge of contemporarily relevant subjects

M.S. students in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at UC San Diego have the option to conduct research with a faculty member while taking classes, culminating in a Master's Thesis (Plan I), or the option to focus on our specifically-designed coursework curriculum culminating in a Comprehensive Examination (Plan II).

The MAE M.S. Coursework program (Plan II) at UC San Diego is uniquely designed to provide students with the opportunity to design a customized curriculum leading to a well-rounded background in engineering fundamentals course while providing exposure and working knowledge of contemporary subject courses preparing them to become the next generation of industry-leading Mechanical Engineers.

 

Please see the live calendar for updated M.S. advising hours.

MS Time Limit Policy: Full-time MS students are permitted seven quarters in which to complete all requirements. While there are no written time limits for part-time students, the department has the right to intervene and set individual deadlines if it becomes necessary. 

 

Master's Plan I - Thesis Defense

Master’s Plan II – Comprehensive Exam

 


Master’s Plan I - Thesis Defense

MS Planner (Thesis)

This plan of study involves both coursework and research, culminating in the preparation of a thesis. A total of 36 units of credit are required: 24 units (6 courses) must be in course work, and 12 units must be in research. The student's program is arranged, with approval of the faculty advisor, according to the following policies:

1. Course work must include 16 units (4 courses) of MAE 200-level courses.
2. Units obtained in MAE 205 or 299 may not be applied toward the course work requirement.
3. A maximum of 8 units of MAE 296 and 298 may be applied toward the course work requirement.
4. A maximum of 12 units of upper-division 100-level courses may be applied toward the course work requirement. However, if you choose 12 units of 100-level courses, you most likely will not have the required knowledge to complete a successful thesis.
5. Twelve units of MAE 299 must be taken to fulfill the research requirement.

Students must maintain at least a B average (3.00 GPA) in the courses taken to fulfill the degree requirements.  All required courses for a degree must be taken for a letter grade, with the exception of MAE 299 research units, which may be taken as S/U only.

These 36 units should be arranged into three areas of specializations, organized as follows:

   Specialization 1: 3 classes (4 units each course)
   Specialization 2: 3 classes (4 units each course)
   Specialization 3: 12 units of MAE 299 research

Two of these areas of Specialization must be chosen from the list below of MAE research areas. The third specialization can only consist of 12 units of MAE 299 research.

Current MAE Research Areas:

   Applied and Solid Mechanics
   Material Sciences
   Fluid Mechanics
   Thermal Sciences
   Engineering Physics
   Dynamics Systems & Controls
   Environmental Engineering
   Biomechanics
   Design

Students should reference the MAE Graduate Course Structure for MS and PhD students to see which courses fall into which of the research areas.  There are no specific course requirements for the MAE Master’s program; however, it is important to follow the guidelines listed above, have your curriculum approved by your faculty advisor, and follow the policies above.

Thesis Defense:  Following advancement to candidacy, the student electing Plan I must submit a thesis. The thesis committee, selected by the student and their faculty advisor, consists of at least three faculty members (including their advisor), of which two must be from MAE.

Information covering thesis preparation is contained in the publication: Preparation and Submission for Masters Thesis. The completed thesis is submitted to the thesis committee for review. The review typically includes an oral defense of the thesis. A student can take the oral defense twice. If the student does not pass the oral exam the second time, there will not be a third exam and the student will be asked to leave the program.

The student must make two separate appointments with the Office of Graduate Division. The first appointment will be scheduled prior to defending and will cover, in person, formatting of the MS Thesis and forms required to graduate. The second appointment is when the candidate submits the thesis and all final paperwork to Graduate Division and upon approval by the Dean of Graduate Division, files the thesis with the university archivist, who accepts it on behalf of the Graduate Council. Acceptance of the thesis by the archivist with a subsequent second approval by the Dean of Graduate Division represents the final step in the completion of all requirements by the candidate for a Master of Science degree on the UC San Diego campus.

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Master’s Plan II- Comprehensive Exam 

MS PLANNER (PLAN II)

This plan of study involves coursework only and culminates in a comprehensive written examination in Spring.  A total of 36 units of credit (9 courses) are expected to be completed within one academic year.  The student's program is arranged according to the following policies:

  1. At least 20 units (5 courses) of MAE 200-level courses.
  2. Units obtained in MAE 205 or 299 may not be applied toward the coursework requirements.
  3. No more than 8 units of MAE 296 and MAE 298 may be applied toward degree requirements.
  4. No more than 12 units of upper-division, 100-level courses (engineering-based or technically serious) may be applied toward the degree requirements.
  5. Only 4 units from the ENG series may be applied to the degree.
  6. No teaching or foreign language requirements.

Students must maintain at least a B average (3.00 GPA) in the courses taken to fulfill the degree requirements.  All required courses for a degree must be taken for a letter grade, with the exception of MAE 299 research units, which may be taken as S/U only.

The 36 units are arranged into three areas of requirements, organized as follows:

I. ONE REQUIRED CORE COURSE

MAE 208: Mathematics for Engineers

II. FOUR EMPHASIS COURSES

Selection of 4 COURSES (16 UNITS) from the following list:

  • MAE 200: "Controls" - Probability and stochastic processes, linear control and estimation including optimal linear control, nonlinear stabilization and optimal control and estimation for nonlinear systems.
  • MAE 201: "Mechanics of Fluids" - Kinematics, equations of motion, dimensional analysis, laminar and irrotational flow, vorticity dynamics, boundary layers.
  • MAE 202: "Thermal Processes" - Energy conservation, heat conduction, convection, thermal boundary layers, heat exchangers.
  • MAE 203: "Solid Mechanics & Materials" - Kinematics, conservation laws, constitutive equation of linear elastic solids, plasticity, viscoelasticity.
  • MAE 204: "Robotics" - Robotics, dynamics, kinematics, mechatronics, control, locomotion, manipulation.
  • MAE 206: "Energy Systems" - Primary energy sources, availability and variability, fossil fuels, renewables and nuclear, energy dependent energy sources, heat engine, energy conservation, energy transportation, air pollution, climate change.
  • MAE 209: "Continuum Mechanics Applied to Medicine/Biology" - Introduction to the basic definitions of continuum mechanics and their mathematical formulation at the graduate level with applications to problems in medicine and biology. This course is intended for students with little or no background in mechanics; it is an introduction to the Biomechanics courses BENG 250 A–B in the Department of Bioengineering and to Solid and Fluid Mechanics courses MAE 210A and MAE 231A in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. This course should NOT be taken concurrently with MAE 210A or MAE 231A.

See Course Offerings for course schedule.

III. FOUR PERMITTED ELECTIVES

Selection of 4 COURSES (16 UNITS) from the MAE Graduate Student Course Structure or graduate-level courses from other departments in the Jacobs School of Engineering.

 

Students should reference the MAE Graduate Course Structure for MS and PhD students to see which courses fall into which of the research areas.  There are no specific course requirements for the MAE Master’s program; however, it is important to follow the guidelines listed above, have your curriculum approved by your faculty advisor, and follow the polices above.

The Comprehensive Examination covers the 36 units of course material the student has taken. It typically takes between 90 minutes and 2 hours to complete. You will be asked questions based on your completed coursework listed in the Application for Candidacy. Faculty are looking for comprehension of concepts as opposed to simple memorization.

If an area of specialization is not completed with a passing grade, the student will be allowed to re-take that area ONE TIME within a 12-month period. If the student fails a second time, he/she will not be awarded the MS degree. Testing is on all three areas and students must pass all three.

MS Preparation for Comprehensive Exam

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